Welcome to Euro. Civ.! As we are all aware, especially after September 11, we do not live in a closed off world. Almost everything we do has an impact on some other part of the world and vice versa. Recently, the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens has come to an end in the "birthplace of Western democracy." It reminds us of some of the political, religious, and philosophical values and principles on which Western Civilization is based.
The approach we will take is a chronological one from ancient times to the present as follows:
You will be required to use a variety of acquired skills to demonstrate an understanding of major ideas, historical eras, social studies themes, and turning points in history. You will need to reinforce your reading comprehension and your writing ability, especially in analyzing primary source documents and writing document-based essay questions. I will be there to help you, if you have had trouble with these skills in the past.
NOTEBOOK & NOTE-TAKING:
It is absolutely essential that you take accurate, legible notes that will help you better understand the class. Your notebook will be evaluated once a marking period. You can download the grading rubric for this 30-point notebook grade on my web site.
One of the most difficult things to master is effective note taking. Often in class you will not have time to write down every word from the board/overhead projector/computer screen. You need to get in the habit of filtering the information presented and putting it into your notes. This means that you need to listen and digest. I know this is hard for some of you, so see me about some study strategies that might be helpful to you or go to the Learning Center for assistance. Copy main ideas and concepts that are placed on the board/overhead projector/computer screen. Take down the main points of a class discussion--listen for verbal clues [words that are emphasized, the tone of my voice when I am discussing a concept, etc.]—they will point to the main ideas and important information that you should jot down in your notes. This is very important—write down possible questions that you may have [especially when doing your homework] and then ask them in class.
It is your responsibility to get notes from classmates if you are absent, so get yourself a “study-buddy” in the class [exchange email addresses or phone numbers] and be responsible for each other. Review your notes frequently and if you don’t understand something—please ASK!
Two six-day cycles of assignments will appear on my web site, so you will have over two week’s worth of work posted at any one time [sometimes three cycles may be posted]. Each unit topic sheet has the main assignments for the entire unite [anywhere from one to three weeks worth of work] on that page. Print out the topic sheet and keep it in your "working" notebook. I will try very hard to keep to the posted assignment schedule, but there is always the occasional unanticipated situation that might force me to revise it. However, I will always notify you of any last-minute changes. If you want to get ahead, the assignments will be there for you on paper and on my web site—plan ahead and budget your time.
At the beginning of each marking period, every student will start with a full 50-point homework grade. I do NOT check homework every day, but I will go around the room periodically or ask you to hand in your homework at the end of the class. If your homework [or other assignment] is not done at all, then two points will be deducted from your homework grade; if incomplete, then one point will be deducted from the original 50 points. Homework is not busy work. It is designed for you to either acquire background information for the next day’s lesson, or to make you do some activity that will sharpen your study skills.
PROJECTS & TESTS:
You will be
given several days [or in the case of long-term projects, several weeks]
notice of any test or project due date. If there is a problem meeting that
due date for a project, or other assignment [except for homework], please let
me know ahead of time, if possible. If you are working within a group to
create a project/presentation, you have an additional responsibility to not
let the group down, because every group project has a group grade as well as
an individual one.
In order to
receive credit for all work, it must be submitted when it is due. I will deduct
10% off of the original grade you would have received for each of the first
three days after the original due date (max of 30% deduction).
However, I allow for ONE late assignment over the entire year (up to three days late
for that assignment
without penalty, except for the last graded assignment before the end of a
marking period or a group project where the group is relying on you to do your
part). You can think of this as a Monopoly “get-out-of-jail-free”
card, so to speak and you can use it at any time. However, if you use
it in the first quarter, that’s it for the year! Exams missed due to absence will be taken within
three school days
after you return unless prior arrangements are made. You are strongly
encouraged to let me know if you are going to miss class beforehand, if you
know, so that we can make a plan together for when work can be made up.
My grading system is
very simple—the total number of points you receive divided by the total possible
points for those assignments. One grade will be a class
participation/discussion/presentation grade for 30 points and will be added to
your total point value score. Before the end of the marking period,
I will ask for your own self-evaluation based on the
criteria in the
Class Participation Grading Rubric. It will serve as a
guide for me before I make a final decision on your score for that grade.
Therefore, your final grade for each marking period is 99% in your control, so
you get what you give! You can also download a blank
Period Grade Sheet”
at the beginning of each quarter to keep
track of your own grades. Do NOT ask me what your grades are—that is your job
to record them on this sheet. All of these forms/sheets/rubrics can be
downloaded [in Adobe .pdf file format] from the main Euro. Civ. page on my web
COMMUNICATIONS & SUPPORT:
Positive, constructive communication is one of my highest priorities. Solving problems is an important aspect of good communication. I am very concerned about questions and confusions that students may be experiencing. I encourage you to approach me after class so that I can give you my undivided attention [if I am free] or see me in the halls, email me, or drop a note in my mailbox, so that I know we need to talk. Never hesitate to share your respectful feelings with me. Students quickly learn that I will eagerly listen and respond to their concerns when they approach me courteously.
Remember, this is OUR class, yours as well as mine. What you do in it has a direct affect on everyone. My goal is to have a class where the teacher and the students work, talk, and think together—a place where no one tries to take advantage of another and where we learn from and help each other!